Nathan Cook – Secretary

Nathan CookAs the former Chief of Staff to two of Florida’s most well-known legislators, Nathan has had a hand in crafting many of the past decade’s largest pieces of legislation.  He has a penchant for policies that solve community problems, with special expertise in environmental issues and economic development.  Over his tenure with the legislature, Nathan worked as a key policy advisor for his members on projects such as Scripps, SunRail, Florida’s Recycling Program, Growth Management Legislation and consumer protection programs such as the Mover’s Regulation & Protection Act.  As a citizen of Central Florida since the late 1980’s, Nathan has been around to watch the community he lives in blossom into a major commercial and industrial player within our region, state and nation.   His sphere of influence includes both local and statewide policy makers and community leaders.  And with 10 years working in the capital, he knows how to navigate the halls and open the right doors at both local and state levels.

Cook’s exemplary 10 years in Tallahassee, serving as chief of staff for Sen. Lee Constantine and Rep. Randy Johnson, allowed him to serve residents and businesses in Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole counties. Cook helped craft many of the decade’s largest pieces of legislation including the Florida Movers Regulation Act –  a law designed to protect all citizens in Florida from unscrupulous movers, the Stephanie Saboor Grieving Parents Act, a law protecting the rights of parents who have lost a child due to miscarriage and HB 7243 Recycling Bill, a law that was passed last year to implement the statewide policy and move Florida toward the goal of 75% recycling.

Cook is currently the Vice President of the Services Division at The Garage, an innovative technology company. In 2011, he was recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as one of the region’s” 40 under 40.”

Outside the office, Cook, a father of a baby girl and two foster children, volunteers his time to advocate for the rights of foster children and improvement in the system. In addition to serving on the City of Life Foundation, he was honored as the 2010 recipient of the “Ripple of Hope” Award for the National Mentor Network.

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Alexia Nechayev

FYS Events & Meeting Chair
(Palm Beach)

Hello, My name is Alexia Nechayev. I am 25 years old and I am an alumna of Florida International University where I received my B.A. in Psychology. My future career goal is to be a Lawyer. I was in care for about one year from age 17 to 18. Prior to entering care, I only knew about the negative stigma regarding foster care and while in care that narrative was unfortunately my experience.

In school I felt like I was on display because my status in care was broadcast to other students and in my placement behavior was leveraged for “privileges” that should be a natural right of all children. Because I did not know my rights I did not know that what I was experiencing was wrong. Today this is exactly why I advocate, because I don’t want this to be the same for other youth who are experiencing foster care.

This is my second year on the FYS Statewide Board and I’m happy to be the Events and Meetings Chair this year because my main goal through advocacy is to reach as many people as possible. My favorite thing as a board member is to see how comfortable members become while working together. The community needs to know that youth in foster care are real people, going through some of the hardest moments of their life and youth need to know that their voice is powerful. I believe that we have to speak up and bring these issues to people’s attention so that they do not forget us. Advocacy, education and consistency is the only way.

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